Jesus and his disciples were sitting on a hillside inside an olive plantation. Many of the trees, whose shade they welcomed, were very old and gnarled.
“How is it that these trees live so long, and men do not?” Philip asked. “Does God love trees more than people?”
Jesus didn’t answer. For once he appeared not to know. He looked sadly at Philip and hesitated a long while. Then he asked in turn, “Do you think length of life is a measure of God’s favor? God is spirit, not flesh.”
“But what does spirit favor?” Philip asked.
Jesus would not answer, and for a long time the disciples wondered about this. “How is it he could not answer such a simple question?” they thought.
Two years passed. Then Jesus was cruelly crucified upon a cross. It was not until many weeks after this that they understood what is valued.
Copyright 2013 George Lowell Tollefson